The National Hockey League (NHL), an organization managing 32 professional ice hockey teams in North America, announced on Thursday that it plans to launch an NFT marketplace. NHL partnered with the non-fungible token (NFT) platform Sweet to develop the project.
Dave Lehanski, NHL Executive Vice President, For Business Development and Innovation, said that the ice hockey league is proud to be launching the NHL’s official NFT digital collectables marketplace this upcoming season. The executive said the marketplace would offer such a new and innovative interactive touchpoint for NHL fans.
Lehanski further disclosed: “We invested a significant amount of time to analyze the marketplace and establish a fan-first strategy and are now thrilled to announce a partnership with a company, Sweet, that will not only provide us with a world-class digital NFT collectables experience but also a commitment to developing a comprehensive platform that is completely designed and customized for the NHL and wholly focused on connecting with hockey fans in the most authentic and engaging manner possible.”
The National Hockey League has signed a multiyear deal with NFT platform Sweet – a partnership that will see Sweet create NFTs featuring cinematic, high-definition moments, and become NHL’s official digital collectables marketplace that allows NHL fans to trade and collect NFTs.
The anticipated NFT marketplace will allow fans to purchase digital collectables based on recent and historic NHL video footage from iconic moments in the competition’s rich history.
The digital collectables will include both the latest and archival NHL’s video moments. The collectables will feature previous and current NHL players, including the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Tie Domi, Sidney Crosby, and Mario Lemieux, among others.
The partnership marks the first time when the NHL, National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and NHL Alumni Association (NHLAA) come together to release videos and other collectables.
The NHL said Sweet’s simplified user interface will easily engage first-time NFT owners as well as gamify features within the marketplace, like quizzes and challenges, and also allow fans to interact with each other.
Sweet’s other sporting clients include the NBA’s New York Knicks, the McLaren and Red Bull Formula One teams, and the Australian Open tennis tournament, the report indicated.
NFTs Defining the New Sports Industry
NFTs have penetrated the art market and are now rapidly expanding into the sports market. The announcement by the National Hockey League follows several other major league sports associations embracing NFTs.
Throughout the world of sports, NFTs are being used to unlock new channels for creative expression, fan engagement, and revenue generation.
Most of the world’s watched leagues, such as the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL), are releasing NFT collectables that digitize current and past beloved traditions of trading cards and memorabilia.
In this way, such sports leagues are not only providing their fans with a new way to engage with their favourite sports but also a way for themselves to earn new sources of revenue.
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